“Never give up, the moment you give up, you give up on yourself. Your dreams are valuable; it’s just a matter of time before you make them a reality. The key is consistency, tenacity, having discipline, being well structured and being goal oriented,” Joaquin Navarro, a Cerritos College alumnus and UC Santa Barbara graduate, said.
Navarro was one of three Cerritos graduates who came to speak at Puente Club’s motivational conference. The speakers came to talk about their transfer experience and answer questions any of the people attending had.
The event was held Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 201 of the Science Building. Superintendent Linda Lacy was among the people in attendance along with other faculty as well.
Jessica Jasmine Diaz, vice president of Puente, was among the organizers of Tuesday’s event.
We decided that we should get more speakers who actually have experience regarding transferring and people who came to Cerritos and actually transferred,” Diaz explained.
This is the first time Cerritos held an event like this but the Puente club has gone to other motivational conferences at Cal State universities.
Jonathan Andrew Alvarez was the first speaker, representing the Cerritos College class of 2008.
Alvarez mostly spoke of the academic troubles and struggles he had to face such as being enrolled for 21 units in his each of his last two semesters at Cerritos.
“I was in Puente club, Psychology club, and involved in student government. They all contributed to motivate me because they all gave me a different outlook on what education meant to each person, and out my education in perspective,” he said.
“My biggest obstacle in transferring was myself, I was pretty doubtful that I would transfer, until I actually got my first acceptance letter, I didn’t think I would transfer.
The fear might be there but you have nothing to lose in trying.”
After he gets his bachelor's degree in UCLA in 2013, he plans to go to San Diego State University for his master's program in educational counseling, and hopes to become a counselor here at Cerritos.
Navarro followed after Alvarez and detailed his challenges in growing up around gangs and their violence.
Navarro was part of the first Puente generation here at Cerritos and helped it get off the ground with help from Armando Soto, a counselor here at Cerritos.
“Meeting the GPA requirement, amount of units needed, and all other prerequisites were his biggest obstacles in transferring. The academic preparation needed to be competent and competitive were my biggest goals.”
He’s received scholarships at Cal State Northridge and USC in pursuing his master’s degree in social work but he also wants to go to law school.
Throughout the event, the students in attendance were focused on the words they were hearing, taking notes, and learning form the lessons being spoken of.
Jaclyn Ronquillo was the last speaker of the day. She explained how her personal life made her drop out of UC San Diego, and come to Cerritos. Since then, she was able to go to UCLA and USC to get her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in psychology to ultimately become a professor at Cerritos, teaching psychology.
After all speakers had gone on stage, the floor was open for any question the students attending had.
Questions ranged from personal problems, the benefits of living on campus, the amount of debt students had and how they were able to balance their personal life with their academic success.
Anthony Talamantes, a political science major, was one of the students in attendance and explained that he learned a lot from the speakers.
“I felt like as a student, I needed more info on the transferring process,” Talamantes said. “The speakers were very helpful, not only did they give us helpful tips, they also gave us insight on the mindset and the perspective necessary to continue our goals.”
The Transfer Club and iFalcon were the two clubs who were reached for assistance and participation.
“Organizing the event was a struggle,” Jose Murillo, vice president of the Puente Club, explained. “I lost a lot of sleep but without a doubt it was worth t and hopefully I can do it again next year.”
Murillo also explained the importance of effort.
“You have to show the effort, as long as you work for it and keep the mindset of you can do it. Once you show the commitment, a lot of people will help you. It’s important to have that support center,” he said.